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A sign in Los Angeles. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Southern California's ICU capacity fell to 12.5% and San Joaquin Valley's to 8.6% on Saturday, triggering the state's new stay-at-home order in the two regions.

Driving the news: Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a three-week stay-at-home order on Thursday that would go into effect in regions with less than 15% ICU capacity.

Details: Under the latest order, private gatherings of any size and all on-site restaurant dining are prohibited.

  • Hair and nail salons, movie theaters and other non-essential businesses must close.
  • Residents and visitors must also always wear a mask when they go outside.
  • The order will will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. PST Sunday for at least three weeks.
  • The Southern California region, home to about 24 million people, includes the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, per AP.

What they're saying: “We are at a point where surging cases and hospitalizations are not letting up," said Salvador Sandoval, public health officer for the Central Valley city of Merced, per ABC News.

  • “I can’t emphasize this enough — everyone must take personal steps to protect themselves and protect others.”

The big picture: California recorded a record 25,068 new coronavirus cases and 209 deaths on Friday, per the state's health department.

  • Also as of Friday, more than 9,400 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, including over 2,100 patients in the ICU.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Jan 23, 2021 - Health

Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden's plan to accelerate the reopening of K-8 schools faces major challenges from a still out-of-control pandemic and more contagious coronavirus variants.

Why it matters: The longer American kids miss in-person schooling, the further they fall behind. But the uncertain state of the science on the role young children play in the pandemic continues to complicate efforts to reopen schools.

Jan 23, 2021 - World

Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

Containers carrying doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine arrive in Brazil. Photo: Maurio Pimentel/AFP via Getty Images

Brazil on Saturday began distributing the 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine that arrived from India Friday, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Brazil has the third highest COVID-19 case-count in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The 2 million doses "only scratch the surface of the shortfall," Brazilian public health experts told the AP.

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